IPhone apps hit home security (somebody's fibbing)
Well, okay, there's a Blackberry app, too, but Blackberries are booooring. Anyway, both the new iPhone and Blackberry app are the creation of Alarm.com, so that Alarm.com and GE Security dealers can now offer their customers all kinds of sweet remote control of their systems, along with remote reporting features, etc. And yes, it's a free app that you can download if you're an Alarm.com/GE security customer. That's a nice little bonus you can offer your customers, no? Here's the problem with the release, though: Um, you're not an industry first, Alarm.com. Either your PR guy got ahead of himself or you gave him some bad information. Here's your headline, to be clear:
Alarm.com Launches Industry-First Home Security Apps for iPhone and BlackBerryAnd here's the reality: Honeywell's My Keypad App (also free) was released on April 3. Your iPhone app was released May 8. See how April 3 is before May 8 on the calendar? Sorry, I just hate how people use superlatives in this industry without even checking to see if they're right. It ruins things for everyone because I just basically think you're all liars. Sorry. (It took me exactly two minutes to search "home security" and discover Honeywell's app, even if they didn't put out a press release about it or anything. I'm trying not to pick on you, Alarm.com - you're not the only one making claims without checking, believe me.) So far, on iTunes, there are 73 ratings and 17 reviews posted for the alarm.com app. People generally seem to either love it or hate it: There are 43 5-star reviews, but also 21 1-star reviews. I'd give you samples of the reviews, but there's no way to link to them and you can't highlight/cut-and-paste from iTunes. So Apple's not perfect. There, I said it. For Honeywell, there are 16 ratings, with the same love/hate relationship: 7 5-stars, and 7 1-stars. Generally, the 1-stars come from people who think you can just control any alarm system with the app, and then are disappointed and mean spirited, even though it says pretty clearly you need to be a Honeywell Total Connect customer with AlarmNet service for Honeywell and have Alarm.com service for the other. (Also, I love how people get ragingly upset (we're talking 15 unsmiley faces) when a FREE app doesn't do what they thought it would - yeah, sorry you wasted the 20 seconds of your life downloading that FREE app!) I also think it's interesting how the two companies have chosen to categorize their apps. Alarm.com puts theirs under "Lifestyle." Honeywell went with "Utilities." Different places to be searching, for sure. Also, for whatever reason, when you search "Home Security" in the App Store the Alarm.com app comes up on the first page, but Honeywell doesn't come up until the second page, which will work in Alarm.com's favor. I'm not sure if that's ranked by most downloads or what, but it would seem judging by reviews that Alarm.com is pushing more apps out there. Oh, and while I'm talking apps, there's an app from AVAI, which does "fusion" systems that bundle AV, lighting, security, etc. Guess how much their app is: $149.99. Stupid. So a customer buys a multi-thousand dollar system from you and then you tell them they need to shell out $150 to download the iPhone app that controls it? Stupid.